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Pair of 6 ½-furlong turf stakes sprints set for Sunday at Woodbine

August 20, 2020

TORONTO, August 20, 2020 – Seven two-year-old fillies, including Dreaming of Drew, are set to contest the $100,000 Catch a Glimpse Stakes, while a handful of two-year-olds tussle for top prize in the $100,000 Soaring Free Stakes, both to be run at 6 ½ furlongs over Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

After a second-place finish in her career bow on June 13, Dreaming of Drew, an Ontario-bred daughter of Speightster, exploded for a six-length score in her next start on July 18.

The Barb Minshall trainee, sent off as the 7-5 choice in the 5 ½-furlong main track race at Woodbine, held a 1 ½-length advantage at the stretch call before dashing away from her rivals with ease.

“Obviously, she ran great in that last race,” said Minshall. “It was kind of what we expected. I expected a big race. I’ve always thought she’s going to improve as she gets to go a little further, so it was the type of effort we had anticipated.”

Bred by WinStar Farm, the Hoolie Racing Stable chestnut will now tackle stakes company and turf for the first time.

Minshall, who has recorded 375 career wins, likes how her young charge is progressing.

“She’s trained very well and coming into this race, we’re hoping she can add turf to her résumé. They let me know [that the filly had talent] down in South Carolina. Travis Durr, at Webb Carroll Training Center, he knew she was pretty nice horse. I knew coming in here we were dealing with a pretty nice filly.”

Dreaming of Drew winning on July 18 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

Alda, who has a win and a third from two starts, Emmeline, who finished fourth in the My Dear Stakes, Illegal Smile, making her Woodbine debut after two U.S. starts, first-time starter Ostracize, Purrsuade Me, who broke her maiden in her second race, and My Dear Stakes runner-up Road to Romance complete the field.

A Kentucky-bred daughter of City Zip, Catch a Glimpse won eight of 15 career starts, including the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), and 2016 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (G1). Trained by Mark Casse, the chestnut mare was named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2015.

The Catch a Glimpse goes as race seven.


Virginia-bred Gospel Way, bred and owned by William B. Thompson Jr., has two races under his saddle heading into the Soaring Free.

The son of Brody’s Cause won first time out, a 24-1 upset at 5 furlongs over the Toronto oval Tapeta on June 28. He then stepped up to the stakes ranks, finishing third in the 5 ½-furlong main track Victoria Stakes on August 2.

“The last time [Victoria Stakes], everything just didn’t go his way,” said trainer Nathan Squires. “It was very windy out of the gate, and that was pushing the speed forward. For some reason, in his two starts, I noticed that he kind of slows around the turns – he’s bred to go a mile and a sixteenth – and in both races he was running on at the end. I think he’s going to run a really, really good race.”

Squires is looking forward to the added distance the Soaring Free affords, and the chance to see how his young pupil will fare on Woodbine turf.

“The only thing I’m not sure of is the turf. You never how they’ll react until they run on it. You can train them on it until the cows come home, but if they don’t like it, they don’t like it. Six-and-a-half [furlongs] is ideal for him. The long E.P. Taylor stretch will do him good. He seems to have matured as well. He’s not as rambunctious as he was before. He looks great and he’s training great.”

Exceed, who has recorded a win and a third from two starts, Gretzky the Great, who scored a maiden win last time out, Into the Sunrise, who broken his maiden at Ellis Park on July 17, and Victoria Stakes champ Ready to Repeat round out the field.

The Soaring Free (race three) is named after Canada’s 2004 Horse of the Year. A son of Smart Strike, the Sam-Son Farm homebred was a multiple graded stakes winner, including a victory in the 2004 Atto Mile (G1). In 27 career starts, the dark bay went 15-4-0, earning a trio of Sovereigns along the way.

First post for Sunday’s 11-race card is 1 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via


Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Ready to Repeat – Luis Contreras – Gail Cox

2 – Exceed – Steven Bahen – Ashlee Brnjas

3 – Gospel Way – Emile Ramsammy – Nathan Squires

4 – Into the Sunrise – Justin Stein – Wesley Ward

5 – Gretzky the Great – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse


Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Emmeline – Davy Moran – John Mattine

2 – Dreaming of Drew – Rafael Hernandez – Barbara Minshall

3 – Alda – Steven Bahen – Graham Motion

4 – Illegal Smile – Luis Contreras – Wesley Ward

5 – Ostracize – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse

6 – Purrsuade Me – Sahin Civaci – Sandra Dominguez

7 – Road to Romance – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse

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